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Vice President Kamala Harris has visited a site in Ghana where millions of enslaved Africans were held captive before they were loaded onto ships bound for the Americas. During her visit to Cape Coast Castle, Harris insisted on exploring past wounds. She skipped her prepared remarks to talk bluntly about the anguish “that reeks from this place,” and the horrors endured by the people who passed through its walls; mass kidnapping, sickness, rape and death. Those who lived were sold into bondage in the Americas. The nation’s first Black and South Asian vice president is the most high-profile member of President Joe Biden’s administration to visit Africa as the U.S. escalates its outreach to the continent.

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A project in Charleston, South Carolina, is using DNA to trace the African roots of three dozen people buried in the late 1700s. The remains were uncovered in the coastal city during construction in 2013. Since then, scientists have learned more about these people and their lives by pulling genetic material from their remains. The research showed most had ties to West Africa and most were likely born into slavery in Colonial America. It's one of a growing number of projects using ancient DNA research. In Charleston, the work has also inspired plans to build a memorial on the burial site.

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